Annual CFC Effort Launches
NIH employees work hard every day to advance medical research, said NIH Acting Director Dr. Lawrence Tabak during the 2023 NIH Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) virtual kickoff event on Oct. 4.
“Your work affects the lives of so many,” he said. “And your generosity and support of the CFC is another way you can help make the world a better place.”
The CFC is the annual workplace fundraising drive among federal employees that serves more than 5,000 charities. The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is the lead institute this year.
“You all are the heart and soul of our campaign,” said Olga Acosta, NINR Executive Officer and 2023 CFC campaign manager, thanking the other institutes, centers and CFC coordinators and keyworkers for their efforts.
David Timpane, NINR deputy executive officer and professional opera singer, opened the program by singing the National Anthem.
NINR Director Dr. Shannon Zenk said she is honored to be co-chairing the 2023 campaign with Tabak because of NIH’s strong CFC tradition. Over the past 18 years, employees have raised nearly $37 million.
Last year, employees contributed more than $2 million, exceeding the target of $1 million. Zenk hopes NIH will once again exceed its goal.
“Every dollar counts,” she said. “No pledge is too great or too small.”
Two CFC charities sent representatives to the kickoff to talk about the campaign’s impact on their organizations.
Echoes of Nature is one of the many local charities benefiting from the CFC, said Echo Uzzo, education director of the organization. Founded in 2002, the Maryland-based nonprofit presents nature-themed programs featuring live-animal ambassadors throughout much of the state.
“The funds we receive go toward animal care needs that include food, enrichment items, housing and vet care,” Uzzo said.
In 2022, the nonprofit presented more than 700 programs to over 33,000 people. This year, Echoes is on track to present more than last year’s total and hopes to expand their programming and animal care roster, hire more staff, increase volunteer opportunities and open a nature center.
Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland also receives support from the CFC, said Sandra Limjuco, volunteer supervisor and safety officer. The nonprofit organization creates affordable homeownership opportunities in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
Thousands of residents in the area are living at or below the poverty line, she noted. In addition, housing costs are skyrocketing while wages are not keeping pace. Habitat’s unique homeownership model helps break down barriers through community partnerships, increasing access to opportunities through rehab of vacant and distressed properties, new home construction, repair of existing homes and advocacy for affordable housing.
“Habitat for Humanity believes that no matter who you are or where we come from, we all deserve the opportunity to have a decent life,” Limjuco said.
Concluding the kickoff, Acosta said, “Your participation today and throughout the campaign will help make a crucial difference in many, many lives.”
CFC officially started on Sept. 1 and will end on Jan. 15, 2024. The theme is “Give Happy.”
For more information about the campaign, visit https://cfc.nih.gov/.